Driven to care: A mobile solution for providing healthcare for people experiencing homelessness

Wednesday, June 1, 2016: 2:30 PM-4:00 PM
Broadway III (Hilton Portland)
This presentation provides attendees with an in-depth exploration of how we re-engineered our Health Care for the Homeless program to provide integrated healthcare and other resources to clients experiencing homelessness. We have built a model that decreases common barriers clients without homes face when trying to access health care. Using our mobile medical unit, our dedicated "bricks and mortar" clinic, and strong community partnerships, we are seeing more success in the quality of care we provide, because we are able to deliver more consistent care over time. Our unique approach to outreach encourages patients experiencing homelessness to establish primary care and follow through with their recommended treatment plans. We have also seen a reduction in the number of un-kept appointments, especially among those seeking behavioral health care. Furthermore, working together with our partners, we are better able to track patients for follow-up appointments, and we engage both clients and shelter personnel in promoting preventative care. These strong partnerships play a critical role in identifying clients who need acute, behavioral health, medical, and dental care. Perhaps most importantly, we work together with past participants of our Health Care for the Homeless program to improve the quality of care we provide. We maintain contact with them for at least a year after they are housed and, when appropriate, ask them to assist us with our program. This includes identifying the needs of people experiencing homelessness, learning about additional resources in the community, and locating current camp sites and places where people without homes gather.
Leah Murry, BA (Community Outreach Coordinator, Swope Health Services)
Michelle Keller, BA, MA (VP, Patient Services, Swope Health Services)
Martin Murphy, FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner-Homeless Outreach, Swope Health Services)
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